Friday, October 18, 2019

2 Abu Sayyaf bandits arrested in Zamboanga

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Oct 18, 2019): 2 Abu Sayyaf bandits arrested in Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA. A soldier assigned with the Task Force Zamboanga conducts thorough inspection Friday, October 18, of all inbound passengers at the port of Zamboanga as security has been tightened amid threats from lawless groups, including the Abu Sayyaf. (SunStar Zamboanga)

TWO alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits were arrested in a joint police and military operation in Zamboanga City Wednesday.

Police Major Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer,
identified the arrested bandits as Mergan Esteban Cabil, 24, and Basher Tilani Tuwa, 34.

Galvez said the joint police and military team served a search warrant against them at around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, October 16, 2019, in Sitio Asinan in the village of Kasanyangan, Zamboanga City.

Galvez said confiscated from them were two caliber .45 pistols with ammunition and one fragmentation grenade.

The suspects are allegedly followers of the Abu Sayyaf Groups’ Urban Terrorist Group headed by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Sawadjaan’s group has been linked to kidnapping and gun-for-hire activities in Sulu, Basilan and neighboring provinces.

Philippines, Japan, US conduct closing ceremony for exercise KAMANDAG 3

Posted to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) (Oct 18, 2019):  Philippines, Japan, US conduct closing ceremony for exercise KAMANDAG 3

The Philippines, Japan and the United States conducted the closing ceremony of exercise KAMANDAG 3 at Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown, Taguig, Manila, Philippines, Oct. 18, 2019.

The ceremony marked the end of the Philippine-led, bilateral military exercise, which was designed to increase readiness through capabilities development, improve combined responsiveness, and enhance partnership and interoperability between Philippine, Japanese and U.S. forces.

“Our forces have enhanced capabilities, interoperability and readiness through teamwork fostered by a true dedication to the attainment of excellence,” said Maj. Gen. Paul J. Rock Jr., 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general. “Seeing the output of their hard work and expertise, I have the utmost confidence that our forces stand prepared in their mission to uphold peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region.”

This year’s KAMANDAG marked two major milestones during the exercise. The Philippine Marine Corps successfully launched their assault amphibious vehicles for the first time alongside U.S. and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force AAVs to conduct a multilateral amphibious landing. Additionally, significant advancements were made during bilateral air defense and threat reaction drills between Philippine and U.S. forces, which support territorial defense training.

“For the past nine days, we saw action not on the battle field, but on the training grounds, and we sweat and did our best to enhance our Soldiers’ and Marines’ capabilities in warfighting and also humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Brig. Gen. Ariel R. Caculitan, Philippine Marine Corps deputy commandant. “The point is we must all be prepared whenever we need these capabilities, either warfighting or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and I think this whole exercise we have met the goals and objectives.”

Throughout the exercise, Philippine and U.S. service members conducted training in amphibious operations, live fire drills, military operations in urban terrain, reconnaissance, low altitude air defense, aviation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and other areas.

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s participation in the exercise focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training scenarios. All three countries partnered during a variety of community relations events, including teaching hundreds of local civilians in the Luzon region about lifesaving skills, disease prevention practices, and overall personal wellness.

“I’m really confident that we have achieved the exercise objective to enhance our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operational capabilities and foster mutual understanding and relationships among the Philippines, U.S. and Japan” Col. Yoshikatsu Fujii, 2nd Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment, Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade commanding officer. “We could not have reached the goal without the cooperation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines ant the United States Forces.”

KAMANDAG, which ran from October 9 to 18, is an acronym for the Filipino phrase “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat,” which translates to “Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea,” highlighting the strong friendship, partnership and alliance between the Philippine and U.S. militaries and peoples.

US Coast Guard Plays Role in Contested Spratly Islands

Posted to the Voice of America (Oct 17, 2019): US Coast Guard Plays Role in Contested Spratly Islands

KALAYAAN, PHILIPPINES — A U.S. fleet has begun the sea phase of a joint maritime training exercise near the contested waters of the Spratly Islands, along with naval assets from the Philippines and Japan.

The U.S Coast Guard cutter Stratton sailed out the harbor of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, on Thursday, along with four U.S. Navy ships.

Speaking from Puerto Princesa earlier this week, Navy Capt. Antoinette McCann told VOA that the Coast Guard has an important role in providing for the security and prosperity of the region.

“The United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard have a very strong relationship. We both work in the maritime domain, and by eliminating the gaps and seams between our two organizations, we have enhanced our mutual ability to address threats in the maritime domain,” she said.

"We encourage the same thing with the Philippines and the Japanese as they work their navies and coast guards to eliminate those gaps and seams.”

The Coast Guard has maintained a regular rotation in the Western Pacific since 2018, with the Stratton replacing the USCGC Bertholf in June.

The exercise was welcomed by Eugenio Bito-Onon, Jr., a former mayor and currently a council member in the city of Kalayaan. The city has jurisdiction over the Philippine-controlled islands in the Spratly Islands, which are also claimed by an increasingly aggressive China.

Bito-Onon argued in an interview that the Philippines' own Coast Guard should play a bigger role in protecting the people and the territory of Kalayaan.

“I like that idea, but right now, it is really the military [that] has the very overarching role in the administration in the islands of Kalayaan. The Coast Guard still does not have enough assets,” he said.

NPA member flees from jail in Northern Samar

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 18, 2019): NPA member flees from jail in Northern Samar

CATARMAN, N/Samar – A confessed member of the New People’s Army who was arrested by the police in March this year escaped from the maximum detention cell of the Allen sub-provincial jail on Thursday evening.

Aljun Cardenas, 18, a resident of Barangay Dawo Oquendo District Calbayog City, reportedly escaped by climbing the water tank beside the concrete fence at the back of the sub-provincial jail.
Two jail guards identified as Manuel Valenzuela and Joemar Miano went to the Allen police station to ask for police assistance to recapture Cardenas.

The jail guards and operatives of the Allen police station led by Police Major Florando Relente conducted an operation to recover Cardenas but to no avail.

Cardenas was captured by policemen at the battlefield during the foiled siege of the Victoria Police Station last March 28.

He was detained at the Northern Samar police provincial office lock-up cell but was eventually turned over to the Allen sub-provincial jail.

Cardenas faces charges for robbery with homicide and illegal possession of firearms.

Colonel Reynaldo Dela Cruz, police provincial director, expressed disappointment over the escape of Cardenas and ordered the latter’s immediate re-arrest. 

IDP Protection Assessment Report - Displacement in Maguindanao caused by a family feud (rido) (IDPPAR no. 15, Issue no. 01, 2019)

Posted to the Relief Web (Oct 17, 2019): IDP Protection Assessment Report - Displacement in Maguindanao caused by a family feud (rido) (IDPPAR no. 15, Issue no. 01, 2019)

Published on 17 Oct 2019 —View Original

Download PDF (484.39 KB)


On 14 October 2019, armed clashes erupted between two private parties that have been engaged in a longstanding personal dispute. Both are members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front - Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF). The armed clashes have caused forcible displacements of the residents of Barangay Dungguan, Datu Montawal municipality and Barangay Inug-ug, Pagalungan municipality, both in the province of Maguindanao. Tension began to escalate a few days before the armed clashes, which then prompted community leaders to advise the people to preemptively evacuate to safer areas.


There are approximately 938 families (4,690 persons) who were forced to flee their homes in Barangay Dungguan, Datu Montawal and Barangay Inug-ug, Pagalungan. As of this report, they have taken temporary shelter in community structures identified as evacuation sites, and some in private facilities.

CPP/NPA-Quezon: 85th IB, nagtamo ng malaking pinsala sa atake ng NPA!

NPA-Quezon propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Oct 19, 2019): 85th IB, nagtamo ng malaking pinsala sa atake ng NPA!


OCTOBER 19, 2019

BONDOC PENINSULA — Hindi bababa sa anim na sundalo ang kaswalti ng 85th IBPA matapos silang bombahin ng isang pangkat ng NPA kahapon, Oktubre 17, bandang 1030 ng umaga sa Sityo Catulin ng Barangay Suha sa bayan ng Catanauan.

Nagrerekurida ang tropa ng 85th IBPA nang mamonitor ng mga pulang mandirigma sa ilalim ng Apolonio Mendoza Command. Ligtas na nakaatras ang mga NPA pagkatapos ng labanan.

Ang rekurida ng sundalo ay bahagi ng kanilang FMO o focused military operation na nagsimula pa noong nakaraang buwan. Kasabay ng kanilang FMO ang pananakot at pagpapasurender sa mga magsasakang pinaghihinalaang suporter ng CPP-NPA.

Sa isang pangyayari noong buwan ng Setyembre, gumawa ng pekeng kampuhan ng NPA ang mga sundalo sa Sityo Pangi ng Barangay Doongan sa kaparehong bayan. Nilitratuhan ito at pilit na ipinapaamin sa mga magsasaka sa lugar na may kinalaman sila sa kunwaring natagpuang kampuhan.

Bukod sa bayan ng Catanauan, inaabot rin ng FMO ang mga bayan ng Mulanay at San Narciso.

Dalawang labanan na sa pagitan ng NPA at AFP ang naitala ngayong buwan. Isang operasyong snipe ang inilunsad ng NPA sa Brgy. Abu-abo, bayan ng Mauban noong Oktubre 8. Kontra-atake ito ng NPA sa ilang araw nang nag-ooperasyong militar sa lugar. Isa (1) ang patay sa hanay ng AFP at walang pinsala sa mga NPA.#

CPP/NDF-PKMM: Paigtingin ang mga pakikibakang magsasaka sa buong kapuluan! Ibagsak ang pasistang rehimeng Duterte! Isulong ang rebolusyong agraryo hanggang tagumpay!

NDF-Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Oct 18, 2019): Paigtingin ang mga pakikibakang magsasaka sa buong kapuluan! Ibagsak ang pasistang rehimeng Duterte! Isulong ang rebolusyong agraryo hanggang tagumpay!

OCTOBER 18, 2019

Wala nang maaasahan ang milyun-milyong magsasaka sa pasistang rehimeng Duterte. Sa loob ng tatlong taon ipinakita nito ang kontra-magsasaka at walang kasing lupit na paghahari matapos iutos ang mga pagpatay at militarisasyon sa kanayunan na bumiktima sa daan libong pamilya ng magsasaka at mamamayan.

Nananawagan ang Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid (PKM) sa mga magsasaka sa buong kapuluan na palawakin at palakasin pa ang mga pakikibaka para isulong ang rebolusyong agraryo. Buuin ang malawak na pakikipagkaisa sa mamamayang Pilipino na naghahangad ng tunay na pagbabago at ibagsak ang pahirap at pasistang rehimeng Duterte.

Lumalala ang problema sa lupa at paghihirap ng mga magsasaka sa ilalim ni Duterte

Hayagan ang pagtalikod ni Duterte sa tunay na reporma sa lupa at panawagan ng magsasaka sa libreng pamamahagi ng lupa matapos ang pahayag niya noong Mayo 16, 2019 na itigil na ang reporma sa lupa. Nauna pa rito ang Executive Order No. 75 at ang DAR Administrative Order No. 1 para sa eksempsyon ng mga pribadong lupang agrikultural sa anumang reporma sa lupa at pagpapabilis pang lalo ng proseso ng land use-conversion.

Hindi totoo, peke at pakitang tao lamang ang mga palabas niya ng pamahahagi ng CLOA. Ang katunayan — ang mga malalaking lokal at dayuhang korporasyon ang mas nakinabang sa malalawak na lupaing agrikultural tulad ng pamilyang Lorenzo at Cojuangco at mga dayuhang korporasyon na nagpasaklaw pa ng mga plantasyon sa ilalim ng Agribusiness Venture Agreements (AVAs) hanggang sa mga kabundukan na nagpapalayas naman sa mga katutubo sa kanilang lupang ninuno.

Nagpiyesta rin ang mga dambuhalang negosyanteng sina Villar, Ayala-Zobel, Pangilinan at Henry Sy na binigyang laya ni Duterte na ikumbert ang lupang sakahan sa kanilang mga real state at proyekto ng gubyerno na Build, Build, Build. Kabi-kabila din ang reklamasyon ng mga baybaying dagat para sa kanilang mga negosyo tulad ng Aerotropolis sa Bulacan ni Cojuangco-Ramon Ang, Dennis Uy at Razon sa Manila Bay.

Sa ilalim ng Rice Liberalization Law ni Duterte at Villar ay bumagsak ang presyo ng palay hanggang Php7 kada kilo na labis na nagpapahirap sa mga magsasaka at nagpapayaman lamang sa mga rice cartel at smugglers at korap na upisyal ng gubyerno. Bumagsak rin ang presyo ng copra, mais at iba pang produkto ng magsasaka. Ang bilyong pisong pondong coco levy fund na kinulimbat sa mga magniniyog ay muling kukurakutin ng mga burukrata-kapitalista sa gubyerno.

Sa pagtalikod ni Duterte sa reporma sa lupa ay lalong nabaon sa pyudal at malapyudal na pagsasamantala ang magsasaka. Tumindi ang pambabarat sa sahod ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid at sa mga presyo ng mga produkto ng magsasaka. Nanatili rin ang mataas na interes sa usura.

Tulad ng magsasaka ay galit na rin ang mga mangingisda sa patuloy na importasyon ng mga isda at pagwasak sa mga pook pangisdaan para sa mga negsoyo ng iilan. Gayundin, malawak ang diskontento ng mga manggagawang agrikultural at maliliit na planters sa tubuhan dahil din sa importasyon ng asukal.

Lumawak ang mga pagpatay at paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ilalim ni Duterte

Dumaranas ngayon ang mga magsasaka ng malupit na pasistang tugon ni Duterte sa mga lehitimong pakikibaka para sa lupa at kabuhayan. Kabi-kabila ang mga pagpatay sa mga magsasaka, iligal na pag-aresto at pagkulong sa mga lider at kasapi ng samahang magsasaka at pambobomba sa mga komunidad.

Ipinatupad ang Martial Law sa Mindanao at Memo Order 32 sa Negros, Samar-Leyte at Bicol habang sa iba pang mga rehiyon ay walang tigil ang militarisasyon. Ipinatupad ang Executive Order-70 o Whole-Of-Nation Approach na naglagay sa bansa sa de-facto Martial Law. Nagbigay lisensya ito sa AFP at PNP para maghasik ng mga pananakot, pag-aresto at pagpatay sa mga magsasaka at mamamayang nagtatanggol ng karapatan at kabuhayan. Umabot na sa 231 ang mga pinatay na magsasaka at libu-libo pa ang naging biktima ng mga iba’t-ibang tipo ng pandarahas at pagmamalupit ng AFP at PNP sa kanayunan.

Isulong ang Rebolusyong Agraryo Hanggang Tagumpay

Ipinapakita ng mga karanasang ito na walang maaasahan ang mga magsasaka sa gubyerno higit lalo ngayon sa ilalim ng kontra-magsasaka at pasistang si Duterte. Tanging sa pagsusulong lamang ng rebolusyong agraryo ang landas para wasakin ang monopolyo sa lupa ng iilan at mawawakasan ang daantaong pyudal at malapyupdal na pagsasamantala sa mga magsasaka.

Ang gubyerno ng malalaking panginoong maylupa, komprador burgesya at dayuhang monopolyo na kinakatawan ni Duterte ay malupit at nagpapalala pa ng matinding kahirapan ng masang magsasaka. Hindi sasapat ang mga reporma, ang kailangan ay wasakin ang gubyerno ng iilan at alisan sila nang kapangyarihan sa estado na ginagamit para kamkamin ang lupa ng magsasaka at ipatupad ang sistemang pyudal at malapyudal sa kanayunan na nagpapahirap sa mga magsasaka.

Gaya ng mga nakaraang rehimen, mabibigo si Duterte na wasakin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa kanayunan dahil nagtatamasa ito ng malawak na suporta mula sa magsasaka at mamamayan sa kanayunan dahil sa tagumpay ng rebolusyong agraryo. Bunga nito ay hakbang-hakbang nang naitatayo ang Organo ng Kapangyarihang Pampulitika sa malawak at malalim na baseng masa ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa kanayunan.

Sa pagsusulong ng rebolusyong agraryo ay mahalaga ang isang hukbong magsasaka, ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) na magtataguyod ng mga programa nito. Dapat ay himukin ang mga manggagawa at kabataan na lumahok sa BHB para isulong ang Demokratikong Rebolusyon ng Bayan na pangunahing nagtataguyod ng rebolusyong agraryo at mga demokratikong kahilingan at interes na taumbayan.

Kailangan buuin ang mahigpit na pakikipagkaisa ng uring magsasaka sa mas malawak na mamamayang naghihirap at inaapi at naghahangad ng pagbabago. Sa papamagitan lamang nito mabubuo ang mas malawak at malakas na kapangyarihan ng mamamayan para ibagsak ang pahirap at pasistang rehimeng Duterte.

Kalinaw News: Influx of NPAs surrender continues in Southern Bukidnon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 18, 2019): Influx of NPAs surrender continues in Southern Bukidnon

MARAMAG, Bukidnon – On October 13-15, with the relentless focused military operation and information dissimenation of the 88th Infantry “Maringal” Battalion, a total of 9 regular NPAs members and 8 MBs of SYP5, Coy Thunder, SRC2, NCMRC, surrendered while 19 communist terrorist group (CTG) supporters withdraw their support and laid down their arms to the troops of 88th Infantry “Maringal” Battalion at Headquarters, Maramag, Bukidnon.

Alyas Jaja, one of the surrenderees expressed, “Ang walay hunong nga operasyon ang naghatod kanamo sa pagtugyan sa among kaugalingon ilabi na gyud nga daghan na sa among mga kauban ang mibuhis sa ilang kinabuhi sa panahon nga naay gyera. Ang labing sakit kay kami nga mga tribo napahilayo sa among yutang kabilin sa panahon nga dunay operasyon” (The relentless operation led us to surrender as many of my comrades lost their lives during skirmishes. We were also displaced from our traditional areas during the conduct of a military operation.

The unit had encountered Coy Thunder 8 times in a span from January to date thru the help of regular NPA and MBs surrenderees by giving information on the location and activities of Coy Thunder. One of the encounters’ fatalities was the Commanding Officer of Sentro de Grabidad of Coy Thunder – @Amana.

The surrenderees came from the area were Coy Thunder and Coy Malayag operates. The following items were also brought and were turned over to the unit: Jomar Lintokan @ JUSWA, a regular member of Coy Malayag, SRC2, 22 years old, from Sitio Lumayag, Brgy Nagkabuklad, San Fernando brought one (1) M14 rifle and 69 ammunitions.

On the other hand, the group composed of 8 regular members, 8 militia ng bayan and 19 CTG supporters from Sitio Logdeck 6, Brgy Linabo and Purok 8 Brgy Lumintao all of Quezon, Bukidnon; Brgy Kibungkog, Brgy Mabuhay, Brgy Halapitan all of San Fernando, Bukidnon; and Brgy Banlag, Valencia City, Bukidnon turned-over Seven (7) assorted FA’s: two (2) Garand rifles, three (3) Homemade shotguns, one (1) Cal.357 and one Cal.45 to the unit.

With the vision of sustainable peace and development for the conflict affected areas (CONAAs), Lt. Colonel Franklin F Fabic encouraged the members to end their ties and participation with the CPP-NPA, “The continues disintegration of the forces of Coy Thunder marks that their strategy anchored on wrong ideology are unlikely to succeed and now falling into the pits of oblivion. We have opened the minds of the people and gained their trust that they are now closing their doors to the elements of terrorism. We have been working on encouraging our brothers and sisters who are still in the mountains to lay down their arms. The restless life and misery inside the terrorist group are not what they deserve.” He added.

The said surrenderees (MBs and regular NPA members) and supporters who withdraw their support to the communist terrorist received cash and food assistance from the local government unit of Quezon and Valencia City. They also undergone psychosocial profiling conducted by MSWDO of Quezon and Valencia City.

Division Public Affairs Office 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
Cpt Regie H Go

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
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Kalinaw News: Ex-NPA officer nabbed in Bulacan

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 18, 2019): Ex-NPA officer nabbed in Bulacan

CAMP ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan — A former high-ranking officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) and coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in this province was arrested inside the Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church in Meralco Village, Barangay Lias, Marilao town on Wednesday.

Col. Chito G. Bersaluna, provincial director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said
Digna Mateo with aliases “Digna”, “Aide”, “Aye”, “Yesa” and “Hillary”, 58, single and a resident of 181 Tumana Street, Santa Maria, Bulacan, was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest.

Bersaluna said
Mateo is reportedly a former deputy secretary of the Bulacan provincial committee/executive committee of Central Luzon Regional Committee and included in the watch list under the Periodic Status Report on Threat Groups (PSRTG) in 2019.

Based on the report by Police Lt. Col. Augusto Asuncion, chief of Bulacan Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), Mateo was arrested during a joint operation conducted by the PIB, together with the intelligence units of AFP as well as the police personnel of Meycauayan City and Marilao at around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday for the crime of murder issued by Judge Isidra A. Arganosa-Maniego of Regional Trial Court, Third Judicial Region, Branch 7, Malolos City on October 20, 2016, with no bail recommended.

The warrant of arrest was served upon positive identification of Mateo by one of the intelligence operatives upon her arrival at the church.

Seized from the accused are subversive documents used for the propaganda of the communist terrorist group (CTG).

Mateo was involved in the armed encounter with 56th Infantry Batallion (IB) troops in Barangay Paradise 3, City of San Jose Del Monte, this province sometime in April 2011 which resulted in the death of Corporal Michael B. Reyes.

The accused was with nine other NPA members led by Joselito Cadines alias Ka Tagco during the encounter.

“She is now under the custody of Bulacan Provincial Intelligence Branch in Camp General Alejo Santos for proper disposition prior to her turnover to the court of origin,” Bersaluna said. (PNA)

Philippine News Agency
Sec. Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar
Presidential Communications Office (PCO)
Visayas Avenue Quezon City, Philippines

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
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Kalinaw News: Army sends delegates to Seoul ADEX 2019

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 18, 2019): Army sends delegates to Seoul ADEX 2019

FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila – The Philippine Army sent a delegation to attend the 2019 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) in Korea that runs from Oct.14-20, 2019.

ADEX is a biannual event where the latest aerospace and defense innovation and technology is being showcased by about 400 exhibitors from at least 30 countries. The delegation is led by the Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto.

The Army is set to acquire more air assets in the future after the upgrade of its Army Aviation Battalion into the Army Aviation Regiment early this month. It aims to equip the regiment with attack helicopters, reconnaissance helicopters, and multi-purpose medium lift helicopters. Its engagement in ADEX and similar events is a step towards strengthening its aviation and air defense capabilities.

The highlights of the show are the indoor and outdoor exhibitions. Part of the indoor exhibitions are aircrafts, unmanned aerial vehicles, space material, weapon systems mock-up and full scale, simulator, weapon systems equipment, ground and naval weapons and equipment, and others related to airport facilities. While the outdoor exhibitions include new fighter, military transport aircraft, cargo aircraft, helicopter and civil aircraft, ground equipment such as self-propelled/mobile artillery, armoured fighting vehicle and unarmored vehicle.

Like other exhibitions in the defense industries, the ADEX also holds seminars, conferences, and symposiums aligned with the event.

“The Philippine Army is geared towards enhancing its aviation and air defense capability to address the fast evolving threats faced by the country as well as to put an end to insurgency,” Alberto said

Source: Philippine Army

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
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WESTMINCOM: 2 competent division commanders visit WestMinCom

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (Aug 18, 2019): 2 competent division commanders visit WestMinCom

Two of the outstanding generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines visited the Western Mindanao Command yesterday (October 17).

Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo, Jr., commander of the 2nd Infantry Division and Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, concurrent commander of the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force ZamPelan were welcomed by WestMinCom Deputy Commander for Operation Brig. Gen. Generoso Ponio during their arrival.

Brig. Gen Marcelo will grace the anniversary celebration of the 68th Infantry Battalion in Basilan while Maj. Gen. Ancan will attend the culminating activity of the Battalion Commanders’ Symposium held in this command.

The two were received by WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana at the Laong-Laan Hall of the command during their courtesy call.

WESTMINCOM: AFP-AIJC dialogue held in Zambo City

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (Aug 18, 2019): AFP-AIJC dialogue held in Zambo City

An Armed Forces of the Philippines and Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) dialogue was held at Grand Astoria Hotel, this city, yesterday (October 17, 2019).

This was attended by the civil military operation and public information officers of the different units under the operational control of Western Mindanao Command and representatives from the AIJC.

The focus of the discussion is the ‘Safeguarding Press Freedom in the Philippines Project’ spearheaded by the AIJC and Copenhagen-based International Media Support (IMS).

Safeguarding Press Freedom in the Philippines is a media development program co-funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, which aims to safeguard and strengthen Philippine media.

The program will work with the security forces through dialogues and awareness-raising activities on the role of journalism in democracy, rule of law, media laws, and various stakeholders’ roles in protecting journalists and media workers.

WESTMINCOM: 2 communist terrorists yield in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (Aug 18, 2019): 2 communist terrorists yield in Sultan Kudarat

Through the efforts of the 37th Infantry Battalion troopers, two communist terrorist group members yielded at the Battalion headquarters in Sitio Adiz, Barangay Baranayan, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat at 9am yesterday, October 17, 2019.

Josie Mandaw Madagpog, male, 41, married; and Jessie Gango Madagpog, male, 31, married, both residents of Sitio Tower, Barangay Kiponget of same municipality, surrendered bringing along with them 1 Caliber .30 Garand Rifle with 2 magazine clips and 15 rounds of ammunition, and 1 shotgun with magazine and 2 rounds of ammunition.

“The two were both listed in our Periodic Status Report as members of the West Daguma Front,” said Col Wilbur C. Mamawag, Commander of the 603rd Infantry Brigade.

“Our ongoing Focus Military Operation in the area prompted them to yield and return to the mainstream of society,” said Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Commander of the Joint Task Force Central.

They are currently undergoing debriefing and documentation at the 37IB headquarters.

“While we intensify our operations in critical areas, Team WestMinCom continuously encourages peaceful mechanisms in addressing internal security concerns in Central and Western Mindanao,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“Above all, our primordial concern is to end terrorism and violent extremism and bring about stability in our area of operation,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana added.

Del Rosario: Sectors 1 to 7 of Marawi’s Ground Zero cleared of UXOs

From MindaNews (Oct 18, 2019): Del Rosario: Sectors 1 to 7 of Marawi’s Ground Zero cleared of UXOs

MARAWI CITY — Sectors 1 to 7 in Marawi’s Ground Zero have been cleared of unexploded bombs, while 17 to 18 more bombs have yet to be recovered in Sectors 8 and 9, Housing Secretary and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chair Eduardo del Rosario said on Thursday, October 17, the second anniversary of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Marawi as having been ”liberated from the terrorist influence.”

Del Rosario said the task force’s deadline for clearing UXOs is October 31, two weeks from October 17, and debris clearing on November 30 so rehabilitation work can finally begin by December 1, initially with the construction of the road network with underground cables for electricity, water and telecommunications, the 24 barangay halls with health center and madrasah, and the grand padian (central market).

No consent, no demolition permit. Ground Zero, 17 October 109. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

Can TFBM beat the deadline? Del Rosario is confident they can.

“We have cleared Sectors 1 to 7 already. We’re now in Sectors 8 and 9 so in those seven sectors we can say bombs were cleared already, he told a press conference Thursday noon in Ground Zero’s Sector 8.

But he explained that there are still buildings in Sectors 8 and 9 – the most heavily-bombarded area as it was the last stand of the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group and its allies — that have to be cleared.

“If we do not see any bombs anymore, then we can declare that all sectors where bombs were delivered and did not explode were cleared already. That extends 50 meters from the intended location of the bombs,” he said, adding they have asked the contractor to “conduct one general sweep of the area to ensure we are not missing any portion of the MAA (Main Affected Area)” or Ground Zero.

“But there is one gray area that I would like to emphasize,” he said, noting that they are targeting 4,000 buildings for clearing and have completed clearing “2,400 plus” and expect to complete all these, about 2850, by November 30.”

He said there remains about 1,000 buildings whose owners did not give consent for demolition.

“That is one issue that would be a problem in the future because there is a possibility that in those buildings, there might be bombs but since they do not like it to be touched, that is something that we have to discuss and find out the safety considerations in those about 800 to 1000 buildings,” he said.

21 of 70 recovered

At the consultation/dialogue with Marawi’s internally displaced persons (IDPs or bakwits) in mid-March this year, Del Rosario said the MAA was already 90% cleared as “more than 4,500 explosives were already recovered” but the biggest concern” is the recovery of 49 ammunitions “as big as 500-pounder” general purpose (GP) bombs.

He said the 49 GP bombs – 110, 260 and 500 pounds — are “scattered all over the MAA and that is the reason why we do not like you to go back there for your safety.”

On May 6, in his presentation to the Cabinet, Del Rosario said a total of 3,973 unexploded ordnance have been retrieved from Ground Zero, along with 816 improvised explosive devices, and 21 of 70 GP bombs.

His presentation showed 13 of 16 500-pounder bombs, four of 17 260-pounder and four of 37 110-pounder had been recovered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), leaving 49 more unrecovered.

Mosques are among those destroyed during the five-month war between government forces and the IS-inspired Maute Group. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS
On Thursday, Del Rosario said that during the recent assessment by the AFP and Eddmari Construction and Trading, the TFBM’s contractor for UXO and debris clearing, “we were down to 20 last month and two 260 pounders were found just last week and weeks ago. So we are down to about 17 or 18 bombs that we are looking for.”

After the press conference, MindaNews asked Del Rosario why he said the remaining bombs were “17 or 18” when Eddmari recovered only eight GP bombs.

29 of 70 recovered

The National Housing Authority (NHA) and Eddmari matrix on “GP bomb monitoring” as of October 10 shows 21 of the bombs were recovered by the AFP while eight were recovered by Eddmari for a total of 29 out of 70 unexploded bombs. This leaves 41 more to be recovered.

He explained the contractor, with the use of technology, scanned the area for bombs, guided by the grid coordinates from the Philippine Air Force on where they dropped the bombs that were reported not to have exploded.

He said the search was extended 50 to 100 meters from the supposed site of explosion but could not find any within 100 meters. “Sinabi nila cleared na ito” (They said this area is cleared).

The Task Force Builder detonates unexploded ordnance composed of surface bombs such as M203 ammunition, two 105 millimeter warheads , 110 pounds and 260 pounds from fighter jets at Sector 2 of Marawi’s Ground Zero oR the Most Affected Area (MAA) shortly before noon on Saturday, 3 August 2019. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

He said the same procedure is being undertaken in Sectors 8 and 9.

“Maari kasing sinabi ng Air Force na hindi pumutok pero nagkaroon ng detonation” And meron namang incident na kinukuha nila but it was found out na ang depth na 12 meters hindi na ma-penetrate kasi at the depth of 3 meters tubig na. Di na makukuha talaga. So ineu-nuetralize na nila yun kahit na hindi mo nakuha physically” (It could be that the Air force said it did not explode but there was actually a detonation. And there are incidents when they tried to retrieve it but it was found out that they could no longer penetrate 12 meters because at three meters deep, it’s already water. You cannot retrieve them anymore. So they will just neutralize that even if they didn’t get that physically), he said.

“You cannot get it anymore, like a depth of 15 meters,” he said, adding, “di ka naman magtatayo ng building doon dahil tubig na yung ilalim non” (you are not going to construct a building there because it’s water underneath).

He explained that even if they can no longer retrieve the bomb because of its depth, they would tell the lot or building owner “meron dito at depth of 15 meters in this location” (there’s one here in this location, 15 meters deep).

“Ganon na ang gagawin. Pero hindi na (kukunin). Iwasan mo na lang pagka nagpagawa sila ng kung anumang structure” (That is what we will do. Not retrieve it anymore because of the depth. Just find a way to avoid it when you have a structure built,” he told MindaNews.

44 of 70 in Sectors 8, 9

According to the NHA-Eddmari matrix, Eddmari recovered eight bombs: three 500-pounder, two 260-pounder and three 110-pounder.

Of the three 500-pounder bombs recovered, one was found in Sector 6 on September 12, one in Sector 7 on the same day and one in Sector 9 on October 10.

Recovery of the three means all 16 500-pounder unexploded bombs have been recovered.

Del Rosario said all recovered bombs have been detonated.

Detonation of unexploded ordnance in Marawi City’s Ground Zero on 03 August 2019. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

There was a detonation at 10 a.m. on October 16 of a 260-pound bomb in Sector 8.

The matrix also shows that 44 or more than half of the 70 unexploded bombs were dropped in Sectors 8 and 9 — 24 in Sector 8 and 20 in Sector 9; two in Sector 1, none in Sectors 2 and 3, six in Sector 4, seven in Sector 5, four in Sector 6 and seven in Sector 7.

As of October 10, Eddmari recovered one 260-pound bomb in Sector 8 and one 500-pound bomb in Sector 9, both on October 10; one 260-pound in Sector 2 on July 31; two 110-pound and one 500-pound bomb in Sector 4 and one 500-pound in Sector 5, all on September 12; one 110-pound in Sector 6 on September 27.

The TFBM’s deadline to clear UXOs in sectors 8 and 9 is on October31.

Del Rosario expects President Duterte to sign an Executive Order “within the month” that would designate NHA, to be the lead agency for the road network project in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Local Water Utilities Administration, National Electrification Administration and Department of Information and Communications Technology.

AgNor town forms MTF-ELCAC

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 18, 2019): AgNor town forms MTF-ELCAC (By 23IB Philippine Army)

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte -- The local government unit of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte together with different sectors, Philippine National Police and the 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB), Philippine Army created a Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) on October 1, 2019 at the Mayor’s Conference Room, Municipal Hall, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.

The MTF-ELCAC was organized through a Joint Resolution between the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) and Municipal Development Council (MDC) of Las Nieves.

Chynthia Binondo, MLGOO, Las Nieves, presented and discussed the DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-125, the Guidelines for Local Government Units in Implementing Executive Order 70-Institutionalizing the Whole of Nation Approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, the creation of MTF-ELCAC and the role of every sector during its implementation.

Meanwhile, Mayor Avelina S. Rosales said the creation of MTF-ELCAC will ensure that all sectors are sustainably taking the lead in peace building efforts to attain inclusive and sustainable peace in conflict-affected communities. "The creation of MTF-ELCAC is the bases and guide in crafting the BTF-ELCAC in the Barangay level. Through this, we will know the task, duties and function of very person who will handle it," Rosales added.

Moreover, Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina, Jr., 23IB commanding officer, supported the creation of MTF-ELCAC to address the primary and secondary problems and issues of the identified conflict affected Barangays. “In the past 50 years, it is only the AFP who confronts insurgency. Good thing our President Rudrigo Roa Duterte passed the Executive Order 70-Institutionalizing Whole of Nation Approach in solving insurgency. The convergence effort of LGUs, the civilian sector and stakeholders is a big push in addressing and solving insurgency,” Lt. Col. Molina said. (1Lt Roel T. Maglalang, CMO Officer, 23IB Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

4ID chief directs new 36IB commander to clear CNTs in SurSur

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 18, 2019): 4ID chief directs new 36IB commander to clear CNTs in SurSur

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur -- MGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), has directed the newly-assumed commander of 36th Infantry "Valorian" Battalion (36IB), Philippine Army, to clear the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) in his area of operation during the change of command ceremony held at the 36IB headquarters in Barangay Dayoan, Tago, Surigao del Sur.

Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel assumed as the new commander of 36IB after Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad turned-over his responsibility last October 4, 2019. Lt. Col. Diagmel is the 29th commander to man the Valorian troopers.

“I am directing you (Lt. Col. Diagmel) to clear the CNTs within your area of operation,” said MGen Gacal.

He also said that he does not want that the CNT will celebrate its anniversary in the province. It can be recalled that the province has been the venue of the CNT in the previous anniversary celebrations.

“I do not want the communist terrorists to be able to celebrate any anniversary in your area of responsibility (AOR)… Do not allow them to disturb the peace of the people and conduct atrocities," said MGen. Gacal.

MGen. Gacal has also reminded the troopers to always uphold the rule of law.

Meanwhile, during the time of the then commander Lt. Col. Trinidad, the battalion participated in the conduct of 14 brigade initiated operations, 33 battalion-initiated operations, and 106 company initiated operations. Those initiatives led to 32 successful encounters against the CNT that resulted in the four enemies killed and recovery of 52 firearms, 23 anti-personnel mines, and the discovery of 21 CNT hideouts.

Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Trinidad, 14 Community Support Programs (CSP) operations have already launched. There were also 14 CNT infested barangays that were cleared and validated. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

9th IDs Task Force Bicolandia, NCIP partners to empower IPs

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 18, 2019): 9th IDs Task Force Bicolandia, NCIP partners to empower IPs

Featured Image

NAGA CITY – The Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) chaired by 9th Infantry Division Commander MGen. Fernando T. Trinidad in partnership with the National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP) Regional Office V headed by NCIP Bicol Regional Director Lee Arroyo recently spearheaded a 2-day Regional Indigenous People Empowerment Summit (RIPES) at the Peñafrancia Resort, Carolina, here.

RIPES coincided with the celebration of IPRA (Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997) month.

Members of the IPs actively participate during the 2-day Regional Indigenous People Empowerment Summit (RIPES) held October 14 to 15, 2019 at the Peñafrancia Resort, Carolina, Naga City. (Photo credits 9th ID DPAO)

Held from Oct. 14 to 15, the confab gathered more or less 30 leaders representing the Indigenous Peoples (IPs). The participants are also composed of Indigenous People Mandatory representatives (IPMR) or tribe’s councilors who are given the opportunity to take part in the various discussions, particularly concerning their rights and learn about legislative matters.

In a press statement issued by the 9th Infantry Division (ID) through Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) Spokesperson MAJ Ricky Anthony N. Aguilar (FA)PA, the participants are mostly from the tribes of Manide and Agta from the provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon.

IPs were given orientation regarding their four bundles of rights which includes the right to ancestral domain, right to self-governance and empowerment, right to cultural integrity and right to social justice and human rights.

“They were also given lectures about insurgency. The importance of peace and order in community development was also discussed to them including discussions on farming, entrepreneurship, agri-preneurship and education,” Aguilar said.

As one of the most vulnerable sectors, most of the IPs can be easily enticed to join “suspicious” groups given their limitation to comprehend things due to lack of education. Aguilar affirmed that for the past years, IPs became one of the most vulnerable sectors of the society in terms of Communist Terrorist Group's (CTG) infiltrations.

MGen. Trinidad said that the summit has given the IPs were given the opportunity to learn about national security and made aware of the services of the government which are intended exclusively for them.

This effort is also in line with the continuous effort of the government to enjoin the various sectors of the government to support its peace efforts that have been elusive for the past decades.

This is also pursuant to the realization of Executive Order No. 70 or the Whole-Of-Nation Approach which allows for the creation of a Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) or Task Force thus, Katuninongan asin Kauswagan was created.

“ EO 70 unifies all government agencies to plan and implement programs and projects for the communities and resolve insurgency,” Trinidad added.

Along with this, Trinidad called on armed guerillas to return to the folds of the law and follow the footsteps of their former comrades who already surrendered to the government and are now enjoying a more peaceful life with their families and friends.

One of the many benefits that they can availed of is their enrolment in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which gives educational, livelihood and housing assistance and firearm renumeration. (LSMacatangay, with reports from MAJRAAguilar, 9thID-PIAV/Camarines Sur)

Teacher wounded in Bukidnon school shooting denies membership with ACT group

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Teacher wounded in Bukidnon school shooting denies membership with ACT group

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon — Bukidnon teacher shooting victim Zhydee Cabañelez strongly denied that she has links with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list which could have caused the shooting incident inside her classroom last Tuesday, October 15.

In an interview, Zhydee said they were once invited by ACT to attend a forum in Valencia City in 2016 but they were not informed that their attendance would constitute membership with ACT.

“That was the only occasion that I had a glimpse with the ACT group—and that was three years ago. Definitely, I am not an ACT member,”
she said.
The shooting Tuesday morning of a husband and wife teachers during classes by four gunmen at the Dalit Elementary School, Lumbayao, Valencia City was unprecedented here, observers said.

Media reports said that Zhydee Cabañelez and husband Ramel were with her pupils in her classroom when the four men barged in at about eight o’clock in the morning and shot her. Ramil escaped unhurt.

In the commotion that followed, the motorcycle-riding gunmen fled the scene.

The blooded Zhydee with gunshot wounds believed to be that of a caliber .45 pistol, seriously injured her.

Zhydee was taken to a hospital in Valencia City by folks. She is recuperating at press time as Valencia City police chief Surki Sereñas provides her security at the hospital.

Schools division superintendent of Valencia Dr. Victoria Gazo suspended the October 17 and 18 second periodical test slated in said school and conducted stress debriefing to pupils, parents, and teachers a day after the incident.

Gazo said the Department of Education (DepEd) Northern Mindanao gave P37,000 cash assistance, while DepEd central office allotted P100,000 financial aid. The local government of Valencia also committed to shoulder part of the hospital’s surgical bill.

As this developed, media here have unconfirmed reports saying that the father of Zhydee was with the New People’s Army (NPA) years ago but turned himself to the government already.

The father's past connection with the rebels bolsters public suggestion that the said school shooting incident could have been done by the NPA.
(RLRB, PIA Bukidnon)

Army steps up info drive vs. CPP-NPA recruitment efforts

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Army steps up info drive vs. CPP-NPA recruitment efforts

PEACE FORUM VS. CPP-NPA. Parents and teachers of students of the Nampicuan National High School attend the campus peace forum conducted by the Army's 69th Infantry (Cougar) Battalion in Barangay Cabawangan, Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija on Monday (Oct. 14, 2019). The forum aims to counter the recruitment efforts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), particularly among students. (File photo courtesy of the Philippine Army's 7th Infantry Division)
PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija— The Philippine Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion (69IB) is stepping up its information and education campaign to counter the recruitment efforts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), particularly among students.

1st Lieutenant Lawrence Mark P. Agbayani, commanding officer of 69IB’s Bravo Company, said on Wednesday that they have conducted
a series of awareness campaigns such as campus peace forums in almost half of the schools in their area of jurisdiction.

“We will continue to conduct such activities until all parents and teachers are aware of the deceptive propaganda of the CPP-NPA,”
Agbayani said.

The 69IB covers 12 municipalities and two cities in Nueva Ecija and one municipality in Aurora province.

These are Aliaga, Cuyapo, Guimba, Licab, Nampicuan, Quezon, Santo Domingo, Talavera, Zaragoza, Sta. Rosa, Laur, Gabaldon, Cabanatuan City and Palayan City, all in Nueva Ecija and Dingalan town in Aurora.

Agbayani said the forum becomes an eye-opener for parents and teachers about the deceptive propaganda of the CPP-NPA.

Among the topics discussed during the campus forum, he said, were national security threats, campus infiltration of the CPP-NPA, exploitation of the youth sector, preventive measures, CPP-NPA atrocities and the AFP recruitment process, including the unauthorized wearing of uniforms or insignia of military or police.

Lieutenant Colonel Arcadio S. Posada, commanding officer of the 69IB, earlier said that they will continue to conduct information drives to prevent exploitation of the youth by the CPP-NPA.

“Otherwise, we will be remiss of our duty as protector of the people and the state,” he said.

Major General Lenard T. Agustin, commander of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, likewise said that the first step in getting the people to support the thrust of the Philippine Army, in line with the government’s objective of ending insurgency, is to make them understand how manipulative, deceptive and dangerous the CPP-NPA is.

“We have to intensify our campaign against these local terrorists and broaden the understanding of our people on just how detrimental they are to communities, and to the youth, in particular. We must all work together to stop them. What the 69IB and all of the other 7ID units are doing now is responsive to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 or the “whole-of-nation approach” to end the local communist armed conflict,” Agustin said.

He thanked the parents and teachers for their support to their campaign as he called on all the local government units (LGUs) to do the same.

“With our concerted efforts, we will succeed in ending the insurgency,” Agustin said.

11 NPA rebels surrender in Masbate

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): 11 NPA rebels surrender in Masbate

At least 11 suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered on Thursday afternoon to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Masbate.

Major Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Police Regional Office-5 spokesperson, in an interview said
three of the surrendered rebels were regulars while the rest were mass-based members of the Larangan Guerilla North Masbate of NPA Jose Rapsing command operating in the said province.

The rebel surrenderers were all residents of Barangay Igang in Masbate City.
The surrender ceremony was held at around 1:30 p.m. at the Masbate 1st Provincial Mobile Force Command Headquarters at Camp Bonny Serrano in Masbate City.

The former rebels surrendered two .357-caliber revolvers and a .38-caliber pistol.

IP community prone to threat from insurgents: Police

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): IP community prone to threat from insurgents: Police

CARE FOR IPs. A member of the Ati community in San Enrique, Iloilo gets free medical check-up during the medical and dental mission facilitated by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Barangay Dacal, San Enrique, Iloilo on Thursday (Oct. 17, 2019). The event was held in celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 and the National IP Month this October. (PNA photo by Perla G. Lena)

ILOILO CITY -- The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) has taken steps to raise the awareness of the Ati Indigenous Peoples (IP) community about government efforts to reach out to them as they are considered vulnerable to threats coming from insurgents.

“We would like our IP community to know that most likely, they are vulnerable. They could be a target of insurgency,” IPPO spokesperson, Capt. Antonio D. Monreal Jr. said in an interview on Thursday.

Monreal was tapped by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to discuss Executive Order (EO) 70 with the Ati communities in three barangays in San Enrique town, during the celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 and the National IP Month in Barangay Dacal.

EO 70 is also known as “institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating a national task force to end local communist armed conflict and directing the adoption of a national peace framework.”

Monreal said IPs usually have issues about government services, which local communists or insurgents use to exploit them.

“The PNP (Philippine National Police), as part of this approach, would like to let them know that we are serious in helping them together with concerned agencies. With the enhancement of programs by local government units, we will be able to bring them the services of the government and rally their support,” he added.

He said communist terrorists usually “exploit” depressed areas. In Iloilo, there are areas considered as threatened or affected where there are IP settlers.

Monreal added that there was even a report of possible recruitment by the communist terrorist in San Enrique but it was preempted.

In case the IPs feel that they are threatened, they can get in touch with the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that are responsible for ensuring security.

Meanwhile, the celebration on Thursday was also attended by the Iloilo II Electric Cooperative (ILECO 2), which provided free installation of free electricity to seven houses of the Ati.

The NCIP also provided free medical and dental services that benefitted some 57 families from four IP communities of the town.

Elna Mallo, a day-care worker in Dacal, said it was the first time in 36 years that an NCIP-organized medical-dental mission was held in their barangay. There were similar activities but they were initiated by private groups.

She said her fellow IPs were happy and excited because the NCIP did not just hold a free medical and dental mission but also helped them get empowered.

“Personally, I am very much empowered. In this country, I feel that as long as we are given the opportunity and proper guidance, the Ati is also capable,” Mallo, the regional winner of the Bayani Ka of the KALAHI CIDSS in Western Visayas, said.

KALAHI CIDSS or the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan - Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is a poverty alleviation program of the government.

Dino says efforts vs. insurgency in Negros Island on right track

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Dino says efforts vs. insurgency in Negros Island on right track

EFFORTS VS. INSURGENCY. Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino (third from left, seated) listens as National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, vice chair of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, delivers a message during the Visayan Island Group Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security Summit in Cebu City on Wednesday (Oct. 16, 2019). Dino commended the efforts of the Regional Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in addressing insurgency problem in Negros Island. (Photo contributed by Danjick Lim)

The presidential assistant for the Visayas on Friday said that efforts of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Regions 6 and 7 to make the entire Negros Island insurgency-free are on the right track.

Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, the presidential assistant for the Visayas, highlighted the partnership between regional task forces in Central Visayas and Western Visayas in solving local communist armed activities in two Negros Island provinces – Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.

“I emphasized in my speech last Wednesday during the CORDS (Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security) summit that we have an existing collaboration between the RTF-ELCAC in Region 6 and Region 7. The partnership will bolster effort to end insurgency in Negros (island),”
Dino said in a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

According to him, the “convergence between RTF 6 and 7 is significant since insurgency is a cross-border issue in the Negros Island, as the communist terrorist groups flee from Negros Oriental to Negros Occidental, and vice versa”.

The convergence, he said, will start in giving out basic services to the people.

The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) conducted the Serbisyong Malasakit to Escalante City, Negros Occidental during the Northern Negros Peace Summit last Sept. 20, he said.

The event was held after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) launched the “Dagyawan sa Barangay” in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Sept. 10 as part of the programs initiated under the Basic Service Cluster of the RTF-ELCAC 7.

Apart from the Serbisyo Malasakit, the regional task force conducted a “Talakayan at Serbisyo Caravan” in Guihulngan City and Kanlaon City in Negros Oriental.

Guihulngan and Kanlaon are among the two local government units in Negros Oriental considered by the military and the police as rebel-infested, while Escalante is also identified as among the three towns in the northern part of Negros Occidental facing insurgency problem.

Dino said the DILG-7-led Basic Services Cluster has been working closely with OPAV in the Serbisyo Caravan, a program started by OPAV in 2016. Organized simultaneously conducted a Serbisyo Caravan in Pinamungajan, Mandaue City, Mactan Island, Bantayan Island, and Isabel, Leyte in March of 2017 as a “birthday gift” of President Rodrigo Duterte to the townsfolk.

He said the services in the Serbisyo Caravan include medical and dental, licensing and issuance of certificates, job hiring and placement, provision of seedlings and fingerlings, free medicines, haircut, massage and other services.

On Monday, Dino revealed that a total of PHP30-million worth of anti-insurgency projects will be implemented in Central Visayas, particularly in Negros Oriental.

“The Visayas Islands have very promising sector in tourism, manufacturing, real estate, agriculture and services. We must address the problem on insurgency that hinders the full potential of those sectors for some decades now, sidetracking the Visayans from real and sustainable progress,” he said.

Dino reiterated during the Visayan island group CORDS Summit at Golden Princes on Wednesday that insurgency in Negros Island must end by 2021.

Female 'military informant' shot dead in NegOr town

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Female 'military informant' shot dead in NegOr town

A female farmer was shot dead on Thursday in Siaton, Negros Oriental by unidentified suspects believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), for allegedly being an informant of the military.

A report from the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) identified the victim as Rosalina Pagon Elpidal, 49, married, and a resident of Sitio Balascan, Barangay Napacao, in the said town, about 25 kilometers from the town proper.

Initial investigation showed that around 8 a.m. Thursday, the victim was riding a motorcycle driven by her son, Jetro, heading towards the Cabrera farm in the same barangay when two armed men signaled them to stop.

The suspects instructed the woman to go with them to the hilly portion of the place.

As they were about to move, the suspects suddenly shot the victim, hitting her on the body and head, causing her instant death.

The victim’s son told police investigators he heard the suspects say in the Cebuano dialect that they had to take her out because of her allegedly being an “intelligence informant”. Thereafter, the suspects immediately fled.

Master Sgt. Ricky Kinkito, of the Siaton Police Station, on Friday said they have already identified two suspects in the killing.

He said that based on witnesses’ accounts and photos, the two were identified as a certain "Charlie" and a certain "Lisan".

Though it is not conclusive yet that the NPA had perpetrated the crime, the police investigator said they have received information that the victim was suspected of being a military informant.

Eastern Samar town marks 75th year of Suluan Raid

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Eastern Samar town marks 75th year of Suluan Raid

RECOGNITION SOUGHT. Local government officials, veterans, and soldiers grace the 75th commemoration of the Suluan Raid in Ngolos village, Guiuan, Eastern Samar on Thursday (Oct. 17, 2019). In the past 75 years, this town has been lobbying for the recognition of its role in the country's liberation from the Japanese invasion. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

GUIUAN, Eastern Samar -- In the past 75 years, this town has been lobbying for recognition of its role in the country's liberation from the Japanese invasion.

During the 75th Suluan Raid commemoration (Sentimental Journey) at the US Navy Depot in Ngolos village on Thursday, Mayor Annaliz Gonzalez-Kwan said her town played a vital role in the arrival of Allied Forces in the country during the Liberation Period.

“Three days before the Leyte Gulf Landings, something big happened in Guiuan. Without the clearing of enemy forces on Suluan Island, maybe Gen. Douglas McArthur would never make it to Leyte,” Kwan said.

Before Gen. MacArthur landed on Leyte’s shores on Oct. 20, 1944, the 6th Ranger Battalion commanded by Col. Henry Mucci was the first American force to return to the Philippines with the mission of destroying coastal defense guns, and radio and radar stations in Dinagat and Suluan Islands in Eastern Samar.

Suluan is an island located in the Pacific about an hour away by boat from Homonhon Island in Guiuan town.

The rangers managed to disperse a small group of Japanese defenders and destroyed a radio station in Suluan while they found Dinagat unoccupied. They erected a navigation light for the amphibious transports.

This attack was the beginning of the Battle in the Leyte Gulf. Three days later, Gen. MacArthur landed at the Red Beach in Palo, Leyte, which signaled the start of liberation.

Col. Camilo Ligayo, Philippine Army 801st Infantry Brigade commander, said the annual celebration of the Suluan raid is special because it values the different contributions in the fight for liberation.

"Such commemoration is important because we pass on the good lesson and examples of the past to the new generation. On occasions like this, we are grateful to our heroes for their sacrifices for our independence,” Ligayo said.

"But our gratitude does not end here. We need to appreciate their dedicated sacrifice by developing the peace we have gained because of them. This is the challenge for those of us who are preserving this heritage. Let us continue to make sure that most of our people will enjoy the freedom from poverty and the opportunity to achieve their dream,” he added.

Part of the commemoration of the 75th Suluan Raid was raising the flag of the Allied Forces from the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and China.

Among those who attended the commemorations were World War 2 veterans from Guiuan and their sons and daughters.

In 1944, after the successful landing of Gen. MacArthur in Leyte, the Allied Forces immediately constructed in Guiuan the US Naval Base 3149 and airfield capable of supporting forces that are working in the liberation of the Philippines.

The original plan was to construct it in Leyte, but due to scarcity of usable area, the southern tip of Samar Island was selected as best suited to the Allied Navy forces’ needs.

The US Naval Base in Guiuan during World War II was one of the biggest naval bases in Southeast Asia and was the second largest in the Philippines.

It covers the villages of Sapao, Taytay, Tagpuro, Cantahay, Baras, Pagnimitan, and Sulangan in Calicoan Island and the islands of Manicani and Tababao. The facility houses more than 100,000 Allied Forces who worked alongside Filipino guerillas in freeing the country from the Japanese forces.

The local government unit of Guiuan passed a resolution declaring the US Naval Base as a local heritage site in the municipality and requested the National Historical Institute to establish a marker on the site.

Bishop urges 317 new soldiers to take duties to heart

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Bishop urges 317 new soldiers to take duties to heart

NEW SOLDIERS. A total of 317 new soldiers are shown during their graduation ceremony at the training grounds of Camp Melchor dela Cruz, in Gamu, Isabela on Friday (Oct. 18, 2019). Bishop Prudencio Andaya of the Tabuk Diocese who was guest speaker, urged the new soldiers to take their duties to heart and put into practice what they learned in the training. (Photo by Villamor Visaya Jr.)

CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, Isabela -- Bishop Prudencio Andaya of the Tabuk Diocese has urged 317 new soldiers to take their duties to heart and put into practice what they learned in the training.

“Gain confidence in times of combat and in times of peace. You are in a different world but make necessary adjustments as the call for service to God and people need you to respond,” Andaya said as he addressed the new soldiers as guest speaker during their graduation rites held at the training grounds here Friday.

“This is a gift of life as you young soldiers (imbibe) discipline, service, leadership, integrity, and goodwill as men in uniform,” he added.

Maj. Gen. Pablo Lorenzo, the Army’s 5th Infantry Division commander, rallied the graduates to be like microscopes that “move, change and affect the visible world.”

“Change towards the Army and change towards your life… we can see moving and changing gentlemen to fill peace in the nation,” he added.

The graduates came from two classes.

James Toribio, 19, of Upi, Gamu, Isabela, bested his colleagues in one class after earning 92.690 points, or an average of 92.69 percent, to top the CSC 580-19 class, while Maj. John Ballesteros topped the CSC 581-19 class after earning 948.93 points, or an average of 94.89 percent.

“Being a soldier is not just easy. You need to pass through all the challenges. You need to lean on 99-percent perspiration and one-percent inspiration to pursue your ambition,” said Toribio, who finished an auto-mechanic vocational course after graduating from high school.

He also bagged the sharpshooters’ marksmanship badge for his class with a 97.50-percent clip while Jan Christopher Ilustrado topped the other class with a 99-percent clip.

Ballesteros, a former Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit member, said he tried his luck to be a regular soldier and succeeded. Born to a family of farmers, he said he wanted to rise out of poverty to help his family.

“I would like to thank God for not letting me (become) troubled or sick during my risky training. I would like to thank those who trained me (from being) a civilian to (become a member of the) military,” Ballesteros said.

Martial law exclusion eyed for Zambo City, 3 provinces

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Martial law exclusion eyed for Zambo City, 3 provinces

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has recommended the exclusion of this city and three Mindanao provinces, in case Malacañang decides to extend the imposition of martial law next year.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Westmincom chief, said Friday he made the recommendation emphasizing there are no terrorists “that exist here and this city is a peaceful place”.

“This city is relatively peaceful. Meron naman tayong magandang (We have good) security in place in close coordination with the local government. Nakita naman natin na ang (We noticed that the) local government ay (is) very cooperative with our peace efforts,” Sobejana said.

Sobejana also proposed the exclusion of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, and North Cotabato under the martial rule in the event it is extended.

Meanwhile, Councilor Josephine Pareja has expressed concerns over Sobejana's proposal, saying it could jeopardize the city's security.

Pareja, the chairperson of the City Council’s Committee on Peace and Order, said the exclusion of Zamboanga City could even lessen the troops in this city as they might be transferred to other areas.

Currently, this city is home to two battalions--one Army and one Marines--that are under the operational control of the Task Force Zamboanga.

“My worry is that the implementation of the security measures might loosen or the troops will be pulled out in this city and reassigned to other places,” Pareja said.

She said that this city remains under threat from lawless elements, especially the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

She noted that four alleged ASG bombers were arrested while explosives and bomb-making components were seized on September 26 in Barangay Baliwasan.

Another ranking NPA leader nabbed in Sarangani

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Another ranking NPA leader nabbed in Sarangani

NABBED. Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, director of Police Regional Office-12, announces the arrest of Jonie Calaba, the vice commander of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 73, on Thursday (Oct. 17, 2019). Calaba's group is allegedly responsible for the burning of heavy equipment owned by an agricultural firm in Kalamansig town, Sultan Kudarat in 2015. (File photo courtesy of PRO-12)

A team of Army and police personnel arrested another ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a law enforcement operation early this week in Sarangani province.

Lt. Col. Lino Capellan, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO-12), said suspect Jonie Calaba, 25, was arrested on Monday in Maitum town, Sarangani.

In a report released late Thursday, Capellan said that Calaba, a resident of Kalamansig town, Sultan Kudarat, is the vice commander of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 73.

The suspect reportedly headed the Platoon Cherry Mobile of Front 73, which operates in Barangay San Jose here; Banga, Tupi, Polomolok, Lake Sebu, and T’boli towns in South Cotabato; and Kiamba in Sarangani.

“He has a standing warrant of arrest for arson, with no bail recommended,” Capellan said.

He said Calaba’s group was responsible for the burning of heavy equipment owned by Silvicultural Industries Inc. on March 7, 2015 in Kalamansig town in Sultan Kudarat, which left a damage of PHP35 million.

Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, PRO-12 director, said that Calaba, currently in the custody of the Sarangani Police Provincial Office, is among the NPA personalities who were either captured, surrendered, or slain within the month.

On October 9, Ramel Baltukan Matagal, a team leader of the NPA’s Front 71 surrendered to the Sarangani police and the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion reportedly due to “unbearable hardship and fear of losing his life” due to the intensified government operations against the rebel group.

The next day, NPA member Tirso Camral Andres, who was tagged as South Cotabato’s number one most wanted person, was slain in an operation in Lake Sebu town.

Andres was facing multiple charges, among them for murder, frustrated murder, attempted murder, and cattle rustling.

On the same day, Nicanor Claro Pason alias “Ronron/Costan,” the secretary of the NPA’s Front 73, and three other rebels were arrested in an operation in Maitum, Sarangani.

Pason has standing warrants of arrest for murder, frustrated murder, rebellion, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention.

Corpus credited the help of community stakeholders in “weakening the line” of NPA units in the region.

“We mean business on this aspect. Rest assured that we will remain steadfast in our mandate to protect our land from internal and external threats through results-based actions,” he added.

Mindanao IPs cut ties with Reds to promote peace, dev’t

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): Mindanao IPs cut ties with Reds to promote peace, dev’t

IP PEACE INITIATIVES. Eleven leaders of the indigenous peoples (IPs) from Mindanao lead the "Usapang Pangkapayapaan-Usapang Pangkaunlaran" at the Central Luzon forum held in Clark, Pampanga on Friday (Oct. 18, 2019). At the forum, they exposed the exploitation and deception of the CPP-NPA-NDF against tribespeople. (Photo by Marna Del Rosario)

Leaders of different tribal groups in Mindanao disclosed Friday that they decided to cut their ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to promote peace and development not only in their communities but in the entire country.

This, according to indigenous peoples (IPs) leadets during the "Usapang Pangkapayapaan-Usapang Pangkaunlaran" forum in Central Luzon held at the Officers Club of the Philippine Air Force, in this freeport zone.

Datu Awing Apuga, leader of the Ata Manobo Talaingod tribe, said they decided to defect to the government in order to save the youth from the “deception” of the communist terrorist group.

“Maraming kabataan ang nasisira dahil sa kaguluhan kaya pinili na naming lumabas sa kilusan para magkaroon na ng kapayapaan ang aming komunidad at ng buong Pilipinas (There are many youths whose lives were ruined due to violence. That is why we chose to defect from the rebel movement to have peace in our communities and in the entire Philippines)” he said.

Apuga, who is a former leader of the CPP-NPA in their tribe, said they came out in the open to raise awareness on the modus of the communist terrorist group in sowing violence and recruiting new members.

“Okay na kami sa kung anong meron kami ngayon. Di namin kailangan ng ano pang yaman okay na sa amin ang ancestral domain (We are doing well with what we have now. We do not need any wealth. We are alright with the ancestral domain),” he said.

Other IP leaders also shared their respective experiences and sufferings with the CPP-NPA.

They recalled being forced to collect revolutionary taxes in their respective areas in Mindanao.

“Ako po ang napag-atasan mangolekta ng revolutionary tax sa mining industry sa area ko at kahit sa maliliit ng tindahan sa kabayanan para maibigay namin sa kanila (I was tasked to collect revolutionary tax from the mining industry in my area and even from small stores in the town to give to them),” said Bae Magdalina Iligan, of the Mamanwa Manobo tribe.

The IP leaders recently flew to Europe to expose the supposed foreign funds funneled to Philippine organizations that have links to the CPP-NPA. They also rallied the international community to resist the narratives of the rebel group.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

All set for 75th Leyte landing anniversary Sunday

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): All set for 75th Leyte landing anniversary Sunday

Gen. McArthur’s historic landing at Palo, Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944.

All is set for the grand celebration of the 75th anniversary of the historic Leyte Landing on Sunday by Gen. Douglas McArthur that liberated the Philippines from Japanese occupation in World War II.

Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina (AFP, Ret.), administrator of the Philippine Veterans Office (PVAO), will represent the Department of National Defense (DND) at the Leyte Landing ceremony at Palo Beach where Gen. McArthur and top US and Filipino military officials, including Brig. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo landed 75 years ago.

Historian Xiao Chua said the Leyte Landing was preceded by the greatest naval battle in history at Leyte Gulf that involved 211 American warships, including 16 aircraft carriers, and 12 battleships.

In addition, American and allied forces had 1,300 warplanes and over 300,000 troops.

In contrast, the once formidable Japanese navy had only 68 warships and 300 aircraft.

Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita was the commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines during the final battle of the Pacific War.

When World War 2 broke out in the Philippines on Dec. 8, 1941, the Japanese crushed the American and Filipino forces in Bataan and Corregidor and occupied the Philippines for over three years.

The invasion of Leyte began at dawn of Oct. 17, 1944, when US troops sneaked into the island that caught the Japanese forces by surprise.

The Japanese thought that McArthur would land in Mindanao but the brilliant American general diverted his plan and chose Leyte where American forces would land because Mindanao was heavily fortified by the Japanese.

The successful landing by US and allied forces at Red Beach in Palo, Leyte fulfilled McArthur’s promise of “I shall return” to liberate the Philippines from the clutches of the Japanese invaders.

PH soldiers bag silver medal in UK Cambrian Patrol

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): PH soldiers bag silver medal in UK Cambrian Patrol

SILVER MEDALISTS. Eight Philippine Army (PA) Scout Rangers, who participated in the United Kingdom's Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2019 (Ex CP 2019) held in Wales, bag the Silver Medal for their feat. The Ex CP is an annual international military exercise hosted by Headquarters 160th (Welsh) Brigade and tagged as the British Army’s premier patrolling event that provides mission-focused and scenario-based exercises. (Photo courtesy of Army Chief Public Affairs)

Eight Philippine Army (PA) Scout Rangers, who participated in the United Kingdom's Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2019 (Ex CP 2019) held in Wales, were awarded the Silver Medal for their feat Wednesday.

This was bared by PA spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala in a statement Thursday.

"For 51 sleepless hours, the Army’s eight-man team successfully accomplished its mission by performing various military operations along the rugged Cambrian Mountains of Mid-Wales, with loads of logistics and minimal food and water,"
Zagala said.

This year, around 130 teams from different countries participated in the exercise.

They also underwent a 21-day pre-training before the exercise proper that started last October 14.

The Ex CP is an annual international military exercise hosted by Headquarters 160th (Welsh) Brigade. It is tagged as the British Army’s premier patrolling event that provides mission-focused and scenario-based exercise to enhance each participating unit’s operational capabilities.

“The Philippine Army recognizes the achievement of our Scout Rangers, which is a manifestation of the perseverance and toughness of the Filipino soldier. Their display of character in the international scene reflects our nation’s aspirations to become a truly world-class Army,” Zagala said.

SoKor thanks anew PH military assistance in Korean War

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 18, 2019): SoKor thanks anew PH military assistance in Korean War

South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man. (File photo)

South Korean Ambassador Han Dong-man on Wednesday thanked anew the Philippines for being the first Asian country to send combat forces to help his beleaguered country in fighting communist invasion.

Han made the remarks in a speech before surviving members and families of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on Thursday.

The Philippines sent 7,240 Filipino troops when war broke out to the Korean Peninsula in 1950, making it the first Asian country to respond to the call of the United Nations (UN) to help South Korea when it was invaded by Chinese communist forces.

Han said South Korea will never forget the goodness of the Filipino people for helping his country at a time it needed most.

He lauded the sacrifices of the Filipino troops during the Korean War that preserved freedom and democracy.

Han said such a magnanimous act has “deepened the strong ties” between South Korea and the Philippines through the years.

During the war, Filipino troops from the 10th, 14th, 19th, 20th and 1st Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs) fought side by with South Koreans and allied forces against Chinese and North Korean troops.

PEFTOK president, 97-year-old retired Maj. Max Young, led Korean War veterans during the ceremony at Diamond Hotel.

Young was a tank commander of the 10th BCT during the war where his unit figured in the great Battle of Yultong.

Other PEFTOK members who displayed their outstanding fighting capability were Capt. Conrado Yap, who was killed in action when he tried to rescue his men trapped in the fighting, and then Lt. Fidel V. Ramos, who led his troops in overrunning Eerie Hill occupied by Chinese forces.

Also during the program, retired Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina, administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), cited the strong friendship between the Philippines and South Korea that continues to flourish through the years.